Let’s Embark

While the definition of embark relates to boarding a vehicle, it also means to begin a course of action. As we go from moment to moment, day to day, year to year, new beginnings emerge as new phases, mindsets, commitments, relationships, and perspectives change and vary. This blog is a place to share my thoughts and insights on the various adventures and daily journeys on which I, and we, will embark.

Safari on the Sea: the Galapagos

In these islands we seem nearer to the great fact – the first appearance of life on earth. These words, written by Charles Darwin after he visited the Galapagos in 1835, only hint at the magic that lies in this cluster of islands. On a weeklong trip last year, my...

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Nosara, Costa Rica: Where the Turtles Meet the Monkeys

There’s something extraordinary about a Nosara sunset. It’s not just the beautiful light and color emanating from the darkening sky. It’s more – the surfers looking for that last wave before daylight slips away, the kids running in and out of the sea, the dogs playing...

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Taking the Iron Way – Via Ferrata – Up the Mountain

The cool Canadian air felt good on my flushed face as I followed a guide with a thick French-Canadian accent up the rock face. Continually clipping and reclipping to metal cable sections separated by anchor bolts, free of the burden of searching for hand- and...

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A child. A traveling companion.

Recently, I was thinking how it’s been too long since I’ve taken a trip alone with one of my kids. Any amount of time away with one child has long been an invaluable experience for me. I wrote a piece about the meaningful trips we’ve taken – previously published on...

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Have Ball Will Travel.

On every trip we take, we bring along at least one tennis ball. It doesn’t have to be an actual tennis ball, but any ball that you can hold in your hand and is small enough to stuff into a backpack – hacky sacks and pink Spalding balls have also come along on our...

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A journey to Connecticut. A new phase in life.

Last week, we drove to Connecticut to bring our daughter to college. While she sat in the back seat, selecting songs on her iPod for us to listen to and occasionally blurting out, “I’m going to college!”, my husband and I sat up front, knots in our stomach about the...

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Food, Glorious – and spicy and strange – Food

Whenever we travel to a foreign destination, we encounter new flavors and foods. It is part of experiencing another country and culture, and for me, often a highlight of the journey. On our recent trip to Asia, each of the three countries we visited – Thailand,...

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Hong Kong: In Constant Contrast

Hong Kong felt like a two-day course in contradictions: towering skyscrapers versus green mountains and open sea, art galleries and high-end fashion boutiques versus street markets and souvenir kitsch, Colonial history versus modern architecture, Starbucks versus tea...

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Paradise at Jimbaran Bay

Our second and final destination in Bali was Jimbaran Bay. A coastal resort area on the southern part of the island, Jimbaran is known for its colorful fishing boats, beautiful beach, gentle surf and seaside grill restaurants. After our previous activity-filled days...

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Batik and Biking in Ubud

Thanks to a contact that Nicole made last summer while in Vietnam, we were fortunate to make the acquaintance of Made (pronounced Mah-day) – a Balinese taxi driver and occasional Backroads shuttle support staff member – who helped us make our way around the Ubud area...

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Sweet, Salty, Sour, Spicy – Balinese Cooking School

One cannot live well, love well or sleep well unless one has dined well. – Virginia Woolf It took me just one whiff of jasmine, one bite of a curry dish, one glance at the array of batik, and one smile from a local to get me completely hooked on Bali. Intrigued by the...

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Driving Miss Lana

At the end of this trip, I will add “soreness from elephant driving” to my growing list of sports and age-related ailments. Riding on the neck of Lana – a 23-year-old female, Asian elephant – for the past two days has been a thrill, and worth every sore muscle....

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